What Police Are Doing About Stoned Drivers

On Nov. 8 voters in CaliforniaMaineMassachusetts and Nevada approved ballot measures to legalize recreational cannabis. It is now legal in a total of eight states. And this creates potential problems for road safety. How do we determine who’s impaired and who’s not?

The effects of alcohol vary based on a person’s size and weight, metabolism rate, related food intake and the type and amount of beverage consumed. Even so, alcohol consumption produces fairly straightforward results: The more you drink, the worse you drive. Factors like body size and drinking experience can shift the correlation slightly, but the relationship is still pretty linear, enough to be able to confidently develop a blood alcohol content scale for legally determining drunk driving. Not so with marijuana.

Source: What Police Are Doing About Stoned Drivers

Whitesboro woman accused of driving impaired with bus full of kids | WSTM

A Whitesboro bus driver was arrested on Saturday after driving a bus full of kids while impaired by prescription drugs, according to New York State Police.Troopers and DeWitt police pulled over 46-year-old Michele L. Daly on Route 481 north, just before exit 11 after the kids on the bus called 911 for help. Several students reported that the bus driver was driving erratically.After speaking with Daly, troopers found that she was driving under the influence of prescription medication. She was taken into custody and now faces three counts of aggravated DWI-Drugs, fourteen counts of endangering the welfare of a child, and a traffic violation. Daly was arraigned in the Village of East Syracuse Court and released to family until her next court appearance on May 5th.Troopers say there were 25 kids on the bus between the ages of 14 to 18-years-old and two coaches. They had left Whitesboro and were headed to Fulton High School for a lacrosse game. According to the school’s website, it was the boy’s team playing against Fulton.Trooper Jack Keller says the team was still able to make it to their game on Saturday. There were two buses driving to the game, so the second bus picked up the coaches and students on the side of the roadway and safely brought them to the game.

Source: Whitesboro woman accused of driving impaired with bus full of kids | WSTM

Logan Kitzhaber apologizes to crash victims, believes collision saved his life | OregonLive.com

Logan Kitzhaber apologizes to crash victims, believes collision saved his life, says his crash into a motorhome on the Oregon coast last year was the culmination of a “long, dark emotional path laden with prescription pills,” but that the mistake ultimately saved his life.The former governor’s son, now 19, wrote a letter to the couple he injured when he sideswiped them on U.S. 101 last July Fourth.Kitzhaber apologized to Stanley and Martha Lyckman and said he had no right to endanger their lives. They’ve inspired him to improve himself and help others, he said in the letter, required as part of his plea bargain in the case.”Before the fourth of July, I was a misguided teenager addicted to popping pills with no motivation and no interests outside of drugs,” Kitzhaber said.The crash was a wake-up call that he “desperately needed,” he said. If not for what happened, he believes he would have eventually overdosed on drugs, he said.”When I decided to get behind the wheel, I was making a terrible choice endangering my life and the lives of anybody else that might have happened to be on the road at the time. Unfortunately it was you,” he told the Lyckmans.Read Logan Kitzhaber’s letterRead Martha Lyckman’s victim impact statementKitzhaber vowed to the couple that he would stay out of legal trouble, get an education and avoid drugs. He said he’s glad to have an opportunity to learn from his mistakes.”Nobody deserves what I put you through, and I wish you nothing but the best,” he said. “And to anybody who thinks that driving while inebriated isn’t dangerous, please think before you act. It’s not worth it.”Kitzhaber was sentenced to seven days in jail last month in Lincoln County Circuit Court for third- and fourth-degree assault and driving under the influence of intoxicants. Authorities said the intoxicants were prescription pills. A judge also ordered him to serve five years of probation and undergo drug and alcohol treatment and suspended Kitzhaber’s driver’s license for five years.According to police reports, Kitzhaber was driving a Toyota Prius from Neskowin to Lincoln City to play miniature golf when he hit the motorhome. It was in the oncoming lane as Kitzhaber was passing another car. Other motorists reported Kitzhaber driving erratically before the collision.He admitted to authorities that he drank one beer before driving and smoked marijuana the night before. He told police he couldn’t remember what caused him to crash .Kitzhaber’s mother, Sharon LaCroix, told police on the day of the crash that her son uses marijuana and prescription pills, but she hadn’t seen him using any drugs that day. It’s not clear from police reports or Kitzhaber’s letter what pills he used or where he got them.Kitzhaber’s father is John Kitzhaber, who was just starting his fourth term as state governor in 2015 when he resigned amid a federal investigation into the role his fiancee played in his administration. A resolution has not yet been announced.Martha Lyckman said during the younger Kitzhaber’s sentencing hearing that the crash nearly cost her husband his leg, forced him to relearn to walk and placed a large financial burden on them because of medical costs. They were traveling from their home in Port Angeles, Washington, for a summer vacation on the Oregon coast.

Source: Logan Kitzhaber apologizes to crash victims, believes collision saved his life | OregonLive.com

Cody psychiatrist to enter drug program

Matthew Hopkins Alleged to have purchased canned air while on bond After being charged with two DUIs in a four-month span, a Cody psychiatrist plans to enter a residential treatment program.Last week, Dr. Matthew Hopkins was given permission to leave Park County so he can travel to a facility based in St. Paul, Minnesota. Hopkins received the court’s blessing after pleading not guilty to several charges related to a head-on crash that took place in Cody on March 14; authorities say Hopkins caused the crash by “huffing” compressed air from a Dust-Off can while driving, passing out and drifting into the oncoming lane of traffic. The driver of the truck he hit suffered injuries.Hopkins faces a felony count of aggravated assault and battery — alleging he “intentionally or knowingly” caused an injury with his SUV — and misdemeanor counts of driving while under the influence of a controlled substance and unlawful use of a toxic substance.He’s been out of jail and free on bond in that case since March 22; he also has a still-pending misdemeanor DUI charge from last November, which alleges he drove drunk and clipped a vehicle parked at Walgreen’s. Hopkins had been out on bond in that case when he was arrested on the huffing and driving allegations last month.At the request of the Park County Attorney’s Office, District Court Judge Steven Cranfill added a new condition to Hopkins’ bond during the April 19 hearing, prohibiting him from possessing glue, aerosol or any other toxic vapor while the felony case is pending. Prosecutors asked for that condition after staff at Wyoming Home and Ranch reported that, on April 11, Hopkins went into the store two times and bought canned air. A Wyoming Home and Ranch employee brought the purchases to the attention of the store’s owner (who notified police) because “they were aware of Dr. Matthew Hopkins’ recent arrest in which he was alleged to have been huffing,” Cody Police Lt. Jason Stafford wrote in an affidavit included in court records.Through his court-appointed attorney, Scott Kath, Hopkins did not oppose the new bond condition.Deputy Park County Prosecuting Attorney Leda Pojman expressed some qualms about allowing  Hopkins to travel to Minnesota.“The state wants to give the defendant a chance to go to treatment, but the state also wants to keep the defendant under the watchful eye of local law enforcement, for I think what’s the obvious reasons,” Pojman said.After requesting that the county attorney’s office receive regular updates on Hopkins’ status at the Minnesota facility, she ultimately did not object.“The state hopes that they don’t regret that,” Pojman said.Public records show Hopkins’ struggles with alcohol and controlled substances date back to his days as a medical intern in 2003. Hopkins said in court last month that he’s closed down his solo practice, Integrated Psychiatric Solutions, “because of this.”A trial in the huffing case is tentatively set for Aug. 10.

Source: Cody psychiatrist to enter drug program

Easton man charged with DUI, drug possession – Westport News

Man charged with DUI, drug possession — An Easton man is facing drug and drunken driving charges after police caught him speeding down a street with small amounts of cocaine on his person, police said.Officer Shane Pucci was on a routine patrol Monday evening when he pulled over a vehicle for traveling unreasonably fast down Bayberry Lane.Upon approaching the vehicle, Pucci reported a strong odor of alcohol emanating from the vehicle. While speaking with the driver, Pucci glimpsed a long brown paper bag containing an alcoholic beverage, police said.Mark Bartolone, 50, was administered a sobriety test, which he failed.A search of Bartolone’s vehicle later revealed .04 grams of cocaine and several containers of alcohol.Bartolone was charged with operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, operating while under suspension, traveling unreasonably fast and possession of narcotics. He posted a $500 bond, and is expected in court on May 3.

Source: Easton man charged with DUI, drug possession – Westport News

Kingsport Times-News: Driver in DUI crash allegedly admits to gang affiliation, using drugs

Driver in DUI crash allegedly admits to gang affiliation, using drugsJ — An alleged Kingsport gang member who wrecked early Wednesday morning near Church Hill with a sawed off shotgun and drug paraphernalia in the vehicle is facing several charges including possession of a gun by a convicted felon and DUI.When asked by HCSO Sgt. Michael Allen if he was on any illegal drugs, the driver, Matthew Scott Quillen, reportedly replied, “All of them.”When inmates are booked into jail they are routinely asked if they belong to a gang.Quillen, 26, 991 Kinsler Ave., Kingsport, reportedly told Hawkins County jailers Wednesday he is a member of the “20mob Traveling Vice.”Quillen’s passenger, Latosha N. Fletcher, 28, 306 Charlie St., Church Hill, was also allegedly under the influence of drugs at the time of the crash. While she was being helped out of the vehicle by police, a marijuana pipe allegedly fell out of her front hoodie pocket.At about 3:30 a.m. Wednesday, Deputy Bobby Moffitt and Allen responded to a single-vehicle crash in the 200 block of Goshen Valley Road. A 1995 Chevy Lumina had exited the roadway near the Smith Hollow Road intersection.Quillen had been driving and reportedly blew his horn at deputies when they arrived to get their attention.”He advised they were just bruised up and that he wasn’t driving fast when he wrecked,” Allen stated in his report.While Quillen and Fletcher were being checked out by EMS, Allen reportedly observed that both appeared to be under the influence of narcotics.Quillen spoke with slurred speech, and he stated he knew he was going to jail because his license was suspended and he didn’t have insurance.”I asked if he was on any illegal drugs, and his reply was, ‘All of them’,” Allen stated.After Quillen and Fletcher had been arrested, a search of the vehicle was conducted.An open red duffel bag in the vehicle contained a sawed-off 12-gauge shotgun with a barrel that had been shortened below the legal length, as well as several 12-gauge shotgun shells and a CO2 pistol designed to look like a .357 revolver.Near the driver’s seat, a Xanax pill was found inside a tin container along with several small clear plastic baggies, rolling papers and a pill snorter.A computer check of Quillen showed him to have previous convictions for aggravated burglary and robbery.Quillen was charged with possession of a gun by a convicted felon, reckless endangerment, possession of a prohibited weapon, possession of Schedule IV narcotics, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a prohibited weapon, DUI, driving on a suspended license, no insurance, and violation of the Due Care law.As of Thursday he remained held in the Hawkins County Jail without bond pending arraignment set for May 1.Fletcher was charged with public intoxication and possession of drug paraphernalia. She too remained held in the Hawkins County Jail as of Thursday, and her arraignment is set for May 1 as well.

Source: Kingsport Times-News: Driver in DUI crash allegedly admits to gang affiliation, using drugs

Police: Nashua school bus driver arrested for driving under the influence of marijuana before taking students on Mass. field trip

Police: Nashua school bus driver arrested for driving under the influence of marijuana before taking students on Mass. field trip: Police in Chelmsford, Mass., arrested a school bus driver from Nashua on Tuesday morning after high school students getting on the bus complained about a strange odor on board.The smell, according to police, turned out to be marijuana.The bus driver, 63-year-old Ali Mahfuz of Nashua, was arrested on charges of driving under the influence of marijuana, driving negligently as to endanger and reckless endangerment, according to a news release.School administrators called Chelmsford Police Tuesday morning after several high school students told a teacher that there was a strange odor on a bus they had boarded in order to go on a field trip, police said.”The teacher immediately notified the principal who boarded the bus with other administrators and could clearly smell the odor of marijuana,” police said. “The students were taken off the bus and brought to the cafeteria.”Officers arrived and determined Mahfuz was under the influence of marijuana.”An investigation also determined that while Mahfuz had not driven any of the morning bus routes at the Chelmsford Public Schools on Tuesday, he had just finished a route for Greater Lowell Technical High School before arriving at Chelmsford High School,” according to authorities. “Chelmsford Police have reached out to the Tyngsborough (Mass.) Police Department, where that school is located.”The bus company, North Reading Transportation Inc., is cooperating with the school department and the Chelmsford Police Department on the investigation.The company sent a supervisor to the scene and a new bus driver took the students on the field trip.Chelmsford Police Chief James Spinney praised the high school students for speaking up.”I cannot overstate the role played by the students today in ensuring their safety on the roads,” Spinney said. “They knew something was not right, and they spoke up right away, alerting school administrators. I commend these students for their role in stopping a dangerous situation from unfolding.”

Source: Police: Nashua school bus driver arrested for driving under the influence of marijuana before taking students on Mass. field trip | New Hampshire

Study finds more drivers killed under influence of drugs than alcohol

Study finds more drivers killed under influence of drugs than alcohol: A recently released report finds driving under the influence of drugs has become even more of a problem than driving under the influence of alcohol.Tests were conducted on people who died as a result of a car crash and the results may surprise you. The Governors Highway Safety Association and the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibly say 43 percent of drivers with known test results who died behind the wheel, tested positive for drugs. This, compared to 38 percent who tested positive for alcohol.The reports goes on to give possible theories as to why drugged driving is on the rise. It claims some drivers may not know how drugs affect their driving. Others may not believe drugs impair how they drive.Of the drivers who tested positive for drugs, more than a third had marijuana in their system. According to the report, marijuana can increase the risk of crashing by 22 to 36 percent. It goes on to say police may have a harder time identifying those drugged drivers.CBS46 learned of a proposal to severely lessen the punishment for possessing small amounts of marijuana in Atlanta is essentially going back to the drawing board. Council members voted to send the proposal back to the public safety committee after they couldn’t agree in a measure.As the law stands now, having an ounce or less of marijuana can land you in jail for up to six months and cost you up to $1,000 in fines. The proposal would take jail time off the table and instead fine someone in possession just $75.

Source: Study finds more drivers killed under influence of drugs than al – WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Taunton police say Dighton car in OUI pot bust reeked even with window up

Car in OUI pot bust reeked even with window upHIDE CAPTION James Carvalho, 21, of Williams Street, Dighton, left, and Colby Woodward, 19, of Putters Way, Dighton were arrested by Taunton police early Tuesday morning. Police say a Dighton man busted for driving under the influence of marijuana early Tuesday morning claimed the ground rules of a field-sobriety test were stacked against him.“No way, that’s not how I stand. My generation doesn’t stand that way — we can’t do it,” Kevin James Carvalho, 21, allegedly stated — after Carvalho had trouble keeping his balance, when Taunton Patrolman Thomas Larkin said he asked him to stand with feet together and his hands by his side.Carvalho, 1541 Williams St., was charged with drug-related OUI; negligent operation of a motor vehicle; marked lanes violation; speeding; and driving with an invalid inspection sticker.His passenger, 19-year-old Colby Woodward, 1925 Putters Way, Dighton, was arrested for illegal possession of more than an ounce of marijuana and possession of a Class D substance with intent to distribute.Larkin, in his report, says Carvalho made that statement after numerous unsuccessful attempts by Carvalho to assume the position in anticipation of a field-sobriety test.Larkin says he was monitoring traffic with his cruiser’s radar at 1:30 a.m. at the intersection of Ingell, Weir and West Water streets, when Carvalho’s 2001 Hyundai Elantra sped by heading north doing 53 mph in a 30 mph posted zone.The car, Larkin said, crossed the double-yellow line “several times in a serpentine manner,” before he it pulled over near the intersection of Weir and White streets.Larkin said as he walked toward the driver’s side door he smelled “a strong, pungent odor of burnt marijuana from inside the Hyundai, even though its windows were closed.”Once Carvalho rolled the window down, Larkin says, “I immediately observed a large plume of smoke rise out.”Larkin said Carvalho was “lethargic” and his eyes were nearly shut as he looked toward the officer and said: “Whoa, what, what’s up?”As Carvalho began looking for his licence and registration, Larkin said Woodward volunteered to show the officer his own driver’s license.“I asked Colby,” who Larkin said appeared “very nervous,” to “stop talking so I could speak with the driver, but he continued to ramble on.”Larkin said he suggested to Carvalho to look inside his wallet “which was right in front of him on the center console.”Carvalho allegedly then claimed that it was Woodward who had been “smoking weed in the car.”MORE VIDEO:Happy Holidays, from us to you!“I smoked earlier, so you got nothing on me, dude. It’s all good, it’s all good,” Carvalho allegedly stated.After Woodward again offered to show his own license, Larkin said he accepted his offer.Larkin says when Woodward picked up a backpack from in between his legs he observed a large glass jar, inside of which was “a large amount of marijuana.”“It’s not mine,” Woodward allegedly said. “It’s my dad’s. I was just holding it for him. My whole family smokes weed.”Woodward, however, quickly changed his story and admitted that the pot was his.“Ok, ok, it’s mine, but it’s only for medical reasons for my PTSD. I’m trying to get a medical card,” he allegedly said.Larkin said the backpack also contained glassine baggies and a digital scale. He said there also appeared to be hundreds of little baggies strewn about the floor of the car.After refusing to submit to the field-sobriety test, Carvalho allegedly accused Larkin of “just trying to make your quota.”“Just let me drive. I’m good,” he allegedly told Larkin, who then “informed Kevin that he was not good and that he was under arrest.”Larkin said the total weight of the marijuana in the jar amounted to 1.6 ounces.Media relations officer Lt. Paul Roderick said until police are equipped with a device that can easily detect drugs in a person’s bloodstream, successful prosecution of drug-related OUI cases will remain difficult.Oftentimes, Roderick said, it amounts to “a waste of time.”Roderick, however, said that drivers operating under the influence of marijuana should keep in mind that Taunton police, especially some of the newer recruits, are taking a “proactive” approach to detecting such violations.

Source: Taunton police say Dighton car in OUI pot bust reeked even with window up

‘Work Out’ Alum Jackie Warner Pleads Not Guilty in Assault, DUI Case

‘Work Out’ Alum Jackie Warner Pleads Not Guilty in Assault, DUI Case: ‘Work Out’ Alum Jackie Warner Pleads Not Guilty in Assault, DUI Case More Celebrity fitness expert Jackie Warner pleaded not guilty to DUI and assault charges on Wednesday, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said. Warner, the former star of Bravo’s “Work Out,” has been charged with one felony count of assault upon a peace officer and one misdemeanor count each of driving under the influence.

Source: ‘Work Out’ Alum Jackie Warner Pleads Not Guilty in Assault, DUI Case